Malaysia is set to secure an additional 6.4 million doses of the Astrazeneca Plc. vaccine through the Covax facility, enough to inoculate 10% of the country’s population, Science and Technology Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said.
This will see the Southeast nation doubling its order from the company, with the first batch expected in the second quarter of 2021, Khairy said in a televised briefing Wednesday.
The government is also in final negotiations with China’s Sinovac for 14 million doses, CanSino Biologics for 3.5 million doses, and for 6.4 million shots of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine made by the Gamelya Research Institute, Khairy said.
“The deals with Sinovac, Cansino, and Gamelya will involve local companies that have been identified based on their ability to work together and to provide fill finish manufacturing capacity for the vaccines,” he said.
Malaysia is struggling to stem a fresh wave of cases that emerged in September and threatens a nascent economic recovery. Daily infections hit a record 2,234 on December 10, with cases erupting at facilities of companies including Top Glove Corp. and Karex Bhd., the world’s biggest producer of condoms.
The government has already secured 12.8 million doses from Pfizer Inc-BioNTech SE in a deal signed last month, and on Tuesday it announced an agreement to buy 6.4 million doses directly from Astrazeneca.
Malaysia has negotiated with Pfizer the option to boost its purchases to cover another 20% of its population, and is in talks with Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, Khairy said.
“I won’t rule out the possibility that we will increase our orders slightly,” he said. “Johnson & Johnson is also a single shot. We like single shot, for obvious reasons. So we are still looking at that.”